Thursday, February 23, 2017

Aorus Z270X-Gaming 9 Motherboard Review

ThinkComputers just put the finishing touches on their review of the Aorus Z270X-Gaming 9 motherboard. If you want a Z270 based motherboard that has everything but the kitchen sink, this could be just the one you are looking for.

 Aorus is here! If you are wondering what Aorus is, it is Gigabyte’s new high-end gaming brand. It seems that Gigabyte wanted to really differentiate their different lines, so Aorus will effectively replace Gigabyte’s G1 Gaming line. Not only for motherboards, but graphics cards and other products as well. The first Aorus motherboards come to us from the Z270 line, in which Aorus has six motherboards. Today we will be taking a look at the flagship Z270X-Gaming 9, which has everything you would want on a Z270 motherboard, plus a lot of extras. 

Alphabet Sues Uber Over Waymo's Self-Driving Car Tech

Oh crap. Pass the popcorn, this is about to get good.

Waymo, Alphabet's autonomous car business, has sued Uber for stealing crucial technical information about its self-driving technology. Waymo's lawsuit targets Otto, a promising self-driving truck startup that Uber acquired in mid-2016. As we noted in August, Otto was founded and staffed by former Google employees, including Anthony Levandowski. "We found that six weeks before his resignation this former employee, Anthony Levandowski, downloaded over 14,000 highly confidential and proprietary design files for Waymo's various hardware systems, including designs of Waymo's LiDAR and circuit board," Waymo writes.

Judge: No, Feds Can’t Nab All Apple Devices And Try Everyone’s Fingerprints

Finally, a common sense ruling from the courts that stops stuff like this from happening. That said, I don't think this is the last we will hear of this kind of stuff from the feds.

A federal magistrate judge in Chicago recently denied the government’s attempt to force people in a particular building to depress their fingerprints in an attempt to open any seized Apple devices as part of a child pornography investigation.

GIGABYTE Z270X-UD5 Motherboard Review

There is a review of the GIGABYTE Z270X-UD5 motherboard posted at TweakTown today that is definitely worth the click to go check out.

Facebook Is Inserting Ads Midway Through Videos

Facebook does a lot of things right but, personally I think the company's approach to video is just terrible. Last we heard the social network was going to roll out autoplaying ads WITH sound (here), now this? Ugh.

 Facebook's ambitions for video have been pretty explicit. And now the social network is (officially) introducing a way for its publishing partners to get paid for them. Rather than front-loading ads the way YouTube and so many others do, these will appear in the middle of videos, according to Recode. Said sales pitches will be 20 seconds long, can't run until a video has been playing for at least 20 seconds and must be spaced two minutes apart.

$10K Worth Of Rare Nintendo Games Has Been Found

Thankfully this story has a happy ending. I like how the USPS sent a letter with instruction on how to better ship a the guy receiving the package.  For those of you not up to speed, the USPS lost a package with over 100 rare Nintendo games and then basically did nothing to help the guy find them.

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Hits 5.2GHz On LN2

A bunch of you guys sent me a link to this video of an AMD Ryzen 7 1800X hitting 5.2GHz on all cores crushing the Cinebench R15 record.

What If Technology Could Help Improve Conversations Online?

Are we all ready to have Google's Perspective API moderate forum discussions now? Apparently Google thinks so.  Far be it for me to say this is a stupid idea but the system flagged my "I retarded the timing 4 degrees" as 71% toxic. Buying a bag of apples at Dicks is 79% toxic.

Perspective is an API that makes it easier to host better conversations. The API uses machine learning models to score the perceived impact a comment might have on a conversation. Developers and publishers can use this score to give realtime feedback to commenters or help moderators do their job, or allow readers to more easily find relevant information, as illustrated in two experiments below. We’ll be releasing more machine learning models later in the year, but our first model identifies whether a comment could be perceived as “toxic" to a discussion.

Oculus Dev: VR Isn’t A Good Bet Yet For New Game Devs

Well, at least he was being honest.

It's going to be a couple of years before virtual reality achieves the sort of growth and adoption that some were expecting, Jason Rubin, Oculus’ head of content said during an on-stage discussion at this week’s DICE Summit in Las Vegas. The comment came in response to a question asked by Insomniac Games founder Ted Price. The two were on stage to discuss the state of VR and its potential.

GTA Online YouTubers Are Sick of Bigger Channels Stealing Their Ideas

Who knew this was even a thing? Why wouldn't the bigger channels just invite the smaller channel to join them for a cosponsored video so that the smaller channel gets  exposure and the big channel gets to share other people's cool ideas?

There’s tension brewing in the GTA Online YouTube community, where competing creators often use the similar ideas. The smaller channels involved don’t think it’s a coincidence: they accuse the bigger channels of stealing their creativity, profiting off their hard work, and in some extreme cases, shutting down channels that dispute anything.

Introducing The Crosshair VI Hero AM4 Motherboard

The ROG Crosshair VI Hero is designed for easy overclocking whether you’re a seasoned veteran or new recruit. It includes our 5-Way Optimization package, whose one-click auto-tuning intelligently overclocks the processor based on the characteristics of your individual chip and cooling. The parameters can be adjusted to suit your preferences, and there’s a full array of manual tweaking options for experienced enthusiasts who want to fine-tune every aspect of their machines. DDR4 memory speeds can be pushed

Efficient cooling is essential to maintaining high performance and quiet acoustics, which is why we put so much effort into refining our Fan Xpert system. The fourth incarnation featured on the Crosshair is smarter than ever before. It’s capable of reading the GPU temperature on select graphics cards, letting fans react to gaming loads that typically hammer that component more than others. To hedge your bets, individual fans can respond to as many as three temperature sources, ensuring effective cooling for any workload. And that’s on top of all the usual perks, like automated calibration, 3/4-pin fan detection, and the ability to adjust how rapidly fans wind up and down when temperatures spike. Liquid cooling gets some extra love thanks to headers for a flow tachometer and temperature in/out sensors. Those additions build upon a stacked foundation that includes one 3A header for dedicated pumps or finger-munching industrial fans, one 1A header for AIO water coolers, and five more for traditional CPU and system fans. The Crosshair VI Hero is equipped to drive formidable cooling configs right out of the box.

Ghost Recon Wildlands Open Beta

Thanks to Blue's News, we now know that the Ghost Recon Wildlands open beta is currently under way. You have until Monday to get your game on before the beta goes bye-bye.

Learning how to use all of the tools in your arsenal is key for taking on the Santa Blanca. First and foremost, use your fellow Ghosts. Whether you’re playing in co-op with up to three other players or going solo with cooperative AI, the other Ghosts can provide valuable distractions and cover fire when things start to heat up. And don’t forget transportation – jeeps, helicopters, APCs, and a large assortment of other vehicles can all become part of your strategy when infiltrating a Santa Blanca base (or escaping from it).  

Bitspower Summit EF (Acrylic Top) CPU Water Block

Not only does the Bitspower Summit EF acrylic top CPU water block keep your processor temps in check, it looks good doing it too.

The Bitspower Summit EF CPU water block we’ll be reviewing is the Intel version with a blue acrylic top. We chose this particular version so that it matches with our Project MakeMeCooler Doraemon PC Build. The acrylic tops do come in other colors … Red, Black and Clear.

Honest Trailers - The Oscars (2017)

The guys over at Screen Junkies are taking on the nine movies nominated for an Oscar in this weeks Honest Trailer. Trust me, this is better than the actual Oscars will be.

Uber Driver Claims Company Keeps More Money Than It’s Supposed To

Dear Uber, please get your poop in a group. Sure, all these negative stories are great for the press but, at some point, you guys really have to straighten up your act.

"He gives some examples where Uber allegedly shortchanged him, like one ride where the passenger was charged $15.38 based on the pre-ride estimate calculated by the Uber app. After deducting the local booking fee (they vary by market) of $1.80, the plaintiff says that he should have been paid 80% of $13.58 (which comes out to $10.86) for that ride. Instead, he says that Uber only paid him $9.91, nearly a dollar less, basing his rate on 80% of the actual distance and time driven — even though the passenger paid for more than that."

Das Keyboard X40 Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard Review

I don't know much about mechanical keyboards but I kinda like the look of the Das Keyboard X40 Pro that NikKTech just reviewed.

Das Keyboard has a long history of professional grade keyboards that lack the usual bells and whistles we find in gaming models and that's why they originally launched Division Zero. Now the reason i say originally is that since our sample arrived here in the end of 2016 Division Zero seems to have been dropped and so right now the X40 Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is under the Das Keyboard brand (the Division Zero page still exists however). 


Drones have a long history of getting taken down by cannons, arrows, fishing poles, pumpkins, eagles, etc., but this is the first time I've ever seen a drone fall to a pack of Siberian tigers. I actually feel a little bad for the drone.

Galactic Civilizations III v2.0 Review

Our friends at Overclockers Club have just published a review of Galactic Civilizations III v2.0. From the sounds of it, even with its flaws, the game is pretty addictive.

Just one more turn. I think that rather familiar phase sums up my feeling on Galactic Civilizations III quite well; I want to play another turn, and another, and another. Typically in 4X games I prefer the civilization development half of the game or the military half of the game, but here I genuinely am enjoying both. Okay, maybe not the strategic placing of structures on planets, that I will leave to the AI governors, but strategically placing starbases to capture resources and spread influence is very satisfying to me.

Google: 99.95% of Recent ‘Trusted’ DMCA Notices Were Bogus

I'm not going to say the system is broken....but the system is broken. Seriously, how in the hell do you end up with 99.95% bogus DMCA notices?

In comments submitted to a U.S. Copyright Office consultation, Google has given the DMCA a vote of support, despite widespread abuse. Noting that the law allows for innovation and agreements with content creators, Google says that 99.95% of URLs it was asked to take down last month didn't even exist in its search indexes.

New York City Expands Program Linking Students To Tech Jobs

More states need to be doing stuff like this.

If you ask New York City, the Tech Talent Pipeline is a shining star in its technology education efforts. The program helps students find internships and training that get them cushier tech jobs when they graduate, and it appears to be paying off -- the average starting salary among participants has gone up 34 percent, and 96 percent of first-wave graduates landed jobs. Accordingly, the city is expanding the partnerships for the Pipeline to give more students a chance. The wider participation includes new schools, companies and charitable donations.

Dead Rising 4 Infecting More Platforms Next Month

I've always been a fan of the Dead Rising franchise so I am thrilled to see that it is finally coming to Steam. Thanks to Blue's News for the heads up.

Dead Rising 4 is unleashing a new kind of undead plague on PCs this spring when it arrives for Steam on March 14th, 2017. It’s time to get gory as photojournalist and zombie outbreak survivor Frank West returns to Willamette, Colorado 16 years after the events of the original Dead Rising. Frank finds the town under siege from another zombie infestation and the rebuilt Willamette Memorial Megaplex Mall stocked with bloody entrails and all sorts of consumer goods.

Xbox Live Games With Gold For March 2017

Major Nelson has posted the list of Xbox Live Games With Gold for March 2017. Free is always good!

Innovation and Competition Return to High-Performance PCs March 2nd with Worldwide AMD Ryzen 7 Availability

AMD today announced the global launch of AMD Ryzen™ 7 desktop processors, with pre-orders starting today from more than 180 global etailers and boutique OEMs, to the delight of PC gamers, content creators, enthusiasts, and fans worldwide. After four years and more than two million engineering hours of development, Ryzen is ready to unleash its powerful purpose, shake up the market, and connect millions more people to high performance personal computing. 

"Four years ago we began development of our 'Zen' processor core with the goal to deliver unprecedented generational performance gains and return choice and innovation to the high-performance computing market," said Dr. Lisa Su, president and CEO of AMD. "On March 2, enthusiasts and gamers around the world will experience 'Zen' in action, as we launch our Ryzen 7 family of processors and reinvigorate the desktop computing market."

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

RIOTORO CR1080 Compact Case Review

Need a compact case that you can cram unbelievable amounts of hardware in? Well then, make sure you read our evaluation of the RIOTORO CR1080. This could be just the chassis you've been looking for.

The fact is that, when it comes to compact cases that support full sized ATX motherboards, this is easily one of the best choices out there. Imagine the power house LAN rig you could build in the RIOTORO CR1080. We easily fit a 1000W power supply, aftermarket water cooling, two large spinning disks and a three-way SLI set-up in this chassis and still had room to spare. 

Radeon vs. NVIDIA Performance For HITMAN On Linux

All you alternative OS folks out there ought to head on over to Phoronix and check out their seventeen GPU Radeon vs. NVIDIA performance round-up for the Linux port of HITMAN.

TerraMaster F2-220 2-Bay NAS Review

The folks at techPowerUP had mixed feelings about the TerraMaster F2-220 2-Bay NAS they just reviewed. The list of cons is longer than the pros but they did give it an award for being a great value.

The TerraMaster F2-220 is an affordable two-bay NAS featuring good performance and nice looks thanks to its aluminum enclosure. This Intel Dual-Core powered storage system uses Linux under the hood and is very energy-efficient with only 12 W power consumed in idle.

Funny Video of the Day

I don't know why but I laughed when I watched this video. A lot.

Using Virtual Reality Underwater Is Weird

I don't know about you but I think this sounds pretty bad ass! Imagine playing something like this while you are actually in the water?

Google Attempts ‘Universal’ File-Sharing Protocol

This sounds great...except it's Google so you know there's a catch. There's always a catch. 😏

Dubbed Upspin, the framework is entirely open source, with full implementation possible via the scheme’s GitHub repository. The naming convention follows Unix/Linux standards, beginning with the user’s unique ID, in the form of an email address, such as The very nature of the naming system obviously makes anonymity problematic; comparisons with Bittorrent systems are therefore not valid, since the resolution does not support CDN-style recombination of data.

Shoppers Don't Want Technology Helping Them Shop

We've said this for a long time, tracking people's phones, smart mirrors and all that other stuff is a waste of retailers' time and money.

"While retailers are falling all over themselves trying to incorporate the latest and greatest retail technology — anything from smart mirrors in fitting rooms to robots that answer questions you’d ask store employees — frankly, shoppers just don’t seem to give a damn."

ASUS ROG Maximus IX Apex Motherboard Review

The review staff at TweakTown say that, not only is the ASUS ROG Maximus IX Apex they just reviewed a great board, but it is a modder's dream as well.

The Maximus IX Apex is a new breed of ASUS ROG motherboards. It carries over the features that make the Impact and Extreme motherboards crazy good overclockers and combines them into a much different package. In fact, the Maximus IX Apex has more unique features than most of these novel overclocking motherboards. ASUS has added condensation detection, DIMM.2, customizable name plates, interesting PCB design, and their own water cooling features.

Overwatch Streamer Gets Matched Up With Cheater Impersonating Him

What are the odds that you would get matched up against a cheater that was impersonating you? Apparently, if you are a popular Overwatch streamer, the odds are pretty good.

SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless Gaming Headset

FunkyKit has the SteelSeries Arctis 7 wireless gaming headset in-house for a little review action today. If you are like me, and you don't know anything about headsets, reviews like this are crucial to my decision making process.

Today we will be covering the Arctis 7 Wireless Headset from SteelSeries. Big shout out to SteelSeries for providing us with all the great headsets in the past. The one on hand today is from the new Arctis line. We covered the Arctis 5 a while back and now we have the wireless version to show off. As you can expect SteelSeries doesn’t fool around when it comes to audio. I love that SteelSeries has a passion about providing us with the most enjoyable experience possible.
The Blue's News crew notice that there is a new SteamVR Linux section on Steam.

The current release of SteamVR for Linux is a development release. It is intended to allow developers to start creating SteamVR content for Linux platforms. Limited hardware support is provided, and pre-release drivers are required. Linux support is currently only available in the "beta" branch, make sure you are using SteamVR[beta] before reporting issues.

Six-Legged Robots Faster Than Nature-Inspired Gait

What the?!?! Scientists are making sure that robots will be able to KILL US ALL by making them faster. Thanks science, you've doomed us all.

AMD Ryzen 7 Processors Available For Pre-Order

Starting now you can pre-order your very own AMD Ryzen 7 processor. We've provided links to the Amazon page for each processor. 

Ryzen 7 1800X 3.6GHz / 4GHz - $499 @ Amazon
Ryzen 7 1700X 3.4GHz / 3.8GHz - $399 @ Amazon
Ryzen 7 1700 3GHz / 3.7GHz (ASUS motherboard bundle) - $499 @ Amazon

Painting A GTX 1080 FE

As part of the Project Crush build, the crew at LanOC decided to get all fancy and paint a pair of GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition cards. I think we can all agree that this is a great way to customize your system. Here's a link to the how-to article.

Amazon Giving Your $8.62 Off Any Order Over $50

So I just logged in to Amazon today and I saw that, for today only, you will get $8.62 off of any order of $50 or more by using the BIGTHANKS code at checkout. Sweet!

Apple Park Opening To Employees In April

Apple today announced that Apple Park, the company’s new 175-acre campus, will be ready for employees to begin occupying in April. The process of moving more than 12,000 people will take over six months, and construction of the buildings and parklands is scheduled to continue through the summer.  

Envisioned by Steve Jobs as a center for creativity and collaboration, Apple Park is transforming miles of asphalt sprawl into a haven of green space in the heart of the Santa Clara Valley. The campus’ ring-shaped, 2.8 million-square-foot main building is clad entirely in the world’s largest panels of curved glass. 

AMD Ryzen 7 Release Announcement

AMD announced via Twitter that the Ryzen 7 lineup will be available as of March 2nd. I can't wait to get my hands on one and put it to the test!

Must Watch Drone Footage of the Day

Not only is this video awesome, the music kicks ass too!

Twitch Streamer Dies During 24 Hour Charity Live Stream

This is sad on so many levels. Not only was he a young guy, he had a family and he died while raising money for charity. 😢

Known info so far: Around 3:30AM CST Poshy said he was going for smokes and left the stream running, He never returned. around 11AM CST we were all still here assuming he had fallen asleep. around 19:00 Sorelor sees him online in discord and messages him. The person who responded identified himself as a detective and asked Sore to call him. Sore spoke wiht him, Called the Virginia Beach police department to confirm the detectives identity. The detective confirmed Brian had passed.

Courts Dismiss Digital Homicide's $15M Lawsuit Against Game Critic

I'm glad this case has finally come to an end. Frivolous lawsuits like this are the worst and I'm glad to see Jim Sterling came out on top.

In 2016, Romine sued yours truly – better (and preferably) known as Jim Sterling – for over $10million, a sum that would rise to over $15million during the course of the year. The original charges were assault, libel, and slander. Romine alleged that my coverage of his game studio Digital Homicide inflicted not only severe emotional damage but irreparably harmed his company.

GeForce "Ti" Countdown Has Begun

We've told you time and again that it was never a matter of "IF" a Ti version of the GeForce GTX 1080 was going to come out, it was always "WHEN." Now we know.

For Honor: Honest Game Trailer

Honest Game Trailers have made a trailer for the recently released For Honor. If you have spent any time playing this game you will get a kick out of this video.

AMD Appoints John W. Marren to Board of Directors

AMD today announced the appointment of John W. Marren, 53, to its board of directors coinciding with Martin Edelman’s decision to step down as member of the company’s board of directors, a position he has held since 2013. Marren’s 30-year career spans both the financial and technology industries, with a deep focus on semiconductors. He retired from Texas Pacific Group (TPG) Capital in 2015 after spending 16 years at the firm as senior partner and head of technology investments. Prior to TPG, he was managing director and co-head of the Technology Investment Banking Group at Morgan Stanley, and prior to that time was managing director at Alex, Brown and Sons. Before shifting his focus to finance, Marren spent seven years in various technical and business roles at VLSI Technology and Vitesse Semiconductor. He currently serves on a number of private company boards, including Avaya Inc., Infinidat, Inc., and Isola Group.

Intel and AT&T Dramatically Accelerate IoT Time to Market

Through the Intel LIQD Program, we will enable select OEMs and carriers to deliver smart and connected devices that businesses can deploy in weeks instead of months. Customers utilizing Intel LIQD devices will also be able to move from concept stage to large deployments without the engineering or technical burden of building a custom solution. The first OEM partner to launch a device as part of the Intel LIQD Program is Sonim Technologies*. The XPi device*2 is the first device from Sonim in this category of quick deployment, ultra-rugged industrial IoT devices. The commercial device comes with carrier pre-certification and a configurable set of embedded sensors, which can be securely managed remotely. The XPi is based on the Intel® Quark™ SE Microcontroller C1000, an Intel® XMM™ 7120 modem (Sierra Wireless HL Series module*), and offers users a scalable IoT sensor platform with Bluetooth Smart connectivity and the capability to access AT&T’s platform solutions (M2X). With these key building blocks, enterprises are able to deliver turn-key asset and condition monitoring applications for a variety of different usage scenarios with minimal engineering effort.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Genius Scorpion K20 Keyboard Review

Our friends at Modders Inc. says that, if you want a nice keyboard for not a lot of money, the Genius Scorpion K20 is a great choice.

Just because you want a gaming keyboard to put the virtual hurt against your opponent in a video game, it does not mean that your wallet has to hurt too. With their $34 GX Gaming K20 keyboard, Genius is offering a colorful backlit option that promises 26-KRO input for fast-paced gaming. The backlighting is of a rainbow palette and although these colors are not re-assignable, the brightness levels can be adjusted and it can be set to a breathing mode. Genius GX Gaming K20 also features extra shortcut keys for multimedia as well as other Windows functions, and as expected of a gaming keyboard, it can disable the Windows key for uninterrupted gameplay.

Tech Industry Comes Out Against Possible DHS Collection Of Visitors’ Passwords

Does it seem likely that a terrorist would really tell you the websites they actually hang out on? Knowing they might have to give up passwords, wouldn't terrorists just maintain a fake social media account?

"Earlier this month, newly confirmed Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told a Congressional committee that one of the possible forms of “extreme vetting” for visitors to the U.S. could include requiring them to hand over their login information for websites they visit. Today, a coalition made up of human rights organizations, consumer advocates, and the tech industry penned an open letter to Kelly, calling on DHS to not go down this path."

Cool Video of the Day

It's videos like this that make the internet so great. Definitely the "Cool Video of the Day."